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While First Seal is the clear Golden Pendant favourite even the roughest hope is unlikely to start at big odds.

Bookmakers are reluctant to rule any horse out of Saturday’s Group Two race at Rosehill, with Ammirata and Zanbagh the longest priced at $21.

While Ammirata’s trainer Joe Pride admits she will have to put in a career-best effort to overcome First Seal, he is encouraged by her strong statistics when fresh.

She has only been beaten first-up once from four attempts with the defeat coming on debut in December 2014.

“It’s a big ask trying to win a Group Two with her but she’s won a decent race already and she seems to produce really good runs fresh,” Pride said.

“We identified this as a race where if she could run first three she would increase her value.”

Ammirata won the Group Three Belle Of The Turf at Gosford in January.

“She’s going to need to produce what she’s done in the past plus a bit more to be competitive,” Pride said.

Ammirata was a $48,000 yearling at the 2013 Magic Millions sale on the Gold Coast.

She is set for a light preparation in spring as Pride gets her ready to head back to the Gold Coast for Australia’s richest race day in January.

“Horses like her don’t get a chance to run in a $1 million race very often so we’d love to have her up there on that day,” Pride said.

First Seal is the only Group One winner in the field, reflected in her $3.20 quote.

While First Seal is dominating punters’ attention, trainer John Thompson’s other runner Zanbagh will also resume from a spell.

Zanbagh won the Group Two Emancipation Stakes (1500m) last preparation and finished fifth in two Group One races.

Her efforts on the training track have impressed jockey Glyn Schofield.

“Her work through the week has been pretty sharp so I’m expecting her to run well,” Schofield.

“She felt really good with me when I galloped her.

“It’s obviously a bit short for her but she’ll run well.”

Last-start Sheraco Stakes winner Heavens Above is the second elect at $6, with Dixie Blossoms and Tycoon Tara both at $7.

 
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